Sunday, January 22, 2012

I Think I Would Rather Be Shot Across The Straits From A Cannon

than cross the Mighty Mack in the conditions pictured above. That photo comes from the bridge authorities traffic cam. If you click on the highlighted link, you can view the current conditions on the bridge. They also have some interesting history about the Mighty Mack. Early last year, Red proposed a bike trip to Canada so he could add getting his "Canada Card" to his list of endeavors. He invited Unk and myself to Join him, but through a series of circumstances, his wife broke her ankle, I wound up being needed on an emergency project at work, the trip never happened.. Luckily, Unk and Surly did wind up going on a adventure of their own so all was not lost. The four of us have had a Internet kinship going for quite some time, and I would like nothing better than meeting these folks face to face and going on a ride.

While we were in the planning stages I pointed out we would have to cross a couple of bridges some find pretty intimidating. First being the Mackinac bridge, it is five miles long and spans the straits of Mackinac. Riding the bridge can be somewhat of a challenge, it seems to always be pretty windy up there. Second, the bridge authority paints the bridge from one end to the other May until October. The painting itself is no big deal in a car, but if you are on a bike and crossing the bridge between nine am, and five pm. Monday through Friday, the outside lanes are closed to traffic and you have to ride the grate. What is the grate you ask, it is a metal grate that spans 3,800 hundred feet and is 199 feet above the water. It was put there by design to allow wind to pass through the bridge so it remains stable instead of acting like a sail and leading to it’s failure like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge that collapsed in spectacular fashion on November seventh 1940 due to high winds. The wind had no way of passing through the bridge and it began an irreversible gyration and came apart.

Imagine being the guy rescuing the dog from the car and walking off the bridge, that must have been awesome. I digress, the whole point of this post is about “riding the grate” and crossing the bridge in less than ideal conditions. On a motorcycle, it can be about as much fun as pulling your own teeth with a pair of pliers. Your bike starts to gyrate like Gypsy Rose Lee and makes you want to clamp on the handle bars with a death grip. This only makes it worse. You have to have kinda have a light touch on the bars to lessen the effect and still maintain control. Then you have the added pleasure of having a front row view to the straits that lie two hundred feet below. Combine the two and you have a pretty hair raising experience on your hands. Maybe this year, if all the planets align, we can do the trip or at least something close to it. I guess we’ll have to see what kinda cards we are dealt. Here is a riders perspective of riding the grate, I sniped the photo from Pako's page, there is some good shots as well as their views about the experience.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Compare Bikes Side by Side

Find the best has come up with an comparison site that allows you to compare all types of consumables. What does that mean to us in the motorcycling community, well they have a very easy to use side by side page that allows you to directly compare bikes from any category at a glance. Trevor contacted me and inquired if I would like to add my blog to the blog section of After reviewing the site, I have to say I was more than happy to. If any of the other "motorcycle bloggers" that stop by here from time to time would like to do the same, you can contact Trevor below and get started. I'm now going to turn the reigns over to Trevor and let him tell you a little more about what they have happening at FindThe

In today’s endless sea of websites, the pursuit of information can be a nightmare. The search to find the best motorcycles can lead you you on a wild goose chase through this mayhem and will often leave you empty handed. FindTheBest recognizes this problem and created a smart, organized, and easy to use tool that allows you to find exactly what you need quickly and efficiently. You now have a place to compare dirt bikes side by side and filter them by the facts that actually matter to you. Never before has there been a way to design a search around your personal needs in such a user friendly format. Here’s a side by side of some top performing sport bikes:

We don’t stop with bikes, either. We cover everything from cars to blogs, and if you are interested in being added to our database please contact Trevor Salas at

Monday, January 16, 2012

Progressive International Motorcycle Shows 2012

The good people at the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows have asked me to pass on some savings on the remaining shows to the readers of my blog. Clicking on the picture below will take you to their website where you will receive a $3.00 discount on tickets purchased in advance using this code, MOTOINF. Screen Shot 2012-01-16 at 12.27.13 PM
The remaining stops on the tour are as follows:
January 20-22, 2012 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center New York, NY
January 27-29, 2012 I-X Center Cleveland, OH
February 3-5, 2012 Minneapolis Convention Center Minneapolis, MN
February 10-12, 2012 Donald E. Stephens Convention Center Chicago, IL
February 24-26, 2012 Charlotte Convention Center Charlotte, NC
March 14-17, 2012 Ocean Center Daytona Beach, FL

I missed the stop here in Detroit cause of the bum foot. I have been to a few in the past and they are always a good time. So if the show is coming to a town near you, save a couple bucks, Check out the Dream Pavilion, Smage Bros Stunt Show, Ultimate Builder Custom Bike show with a $90k prize and Kawasaki Design-a-Bike. The Marketplace is a showcase to find the latest aftermarket parts and accessories for your bike, and the main exhibit floor features what’s new with your favorite motorcycle manufacturers. Even though I couldn't make it, hope Y'all can stop by, it's a great way to spend an day or two.

These Boys Have More Talent in Their Pinky Nails Than I have In My Whole Bloodline

All I can say is, Don't try this at home kids. For your viewing pleasure, please view in fullscreen.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

An Exercise In Clutch Control

My guess he was trying to compensate for the extra weight of having a passenger on his bike.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

'82-'83 Suzuki Katana

If there is another bike I would trade the Fj for besides the VF1000R it would be Suzuki's original Katana. The styling of this bike is always been a love, hate affair for most, guess what side of the argument you'll find me on. Originally Hans Muth of target design drew up the design for MV Agusta, they were not crazy about it and a modified version found a home at Suzuki. It only sold for two years here in the States and are scarce as hens teeth. They loved the design so much in Japan, it rolled off the assembly line until 2000. The first incarnation was the GS1000S Katana, You could have it in 1000 or 1100cc flavors depending on you country of origin. the specs for this bike are as follows, Overall Length: 2 260 mm (89.0 in)
Overall Width: 715 mm (28.1 in)
Overall Height: 1 195 mm (47.0 in)
Seat Height: 775 mm (30.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 175 mm (6.9 in)
Wheelbase 1 520 mm (59.8 in)
Dry Weight: 232 kg (511 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 998 cc inline-4,
DOHC, 16 valves. 108 hp/ 8,500 rpm, 9,3 kg-m/ 6,500 rpm.
It had my eyes poppin' out of my head the first time I saw one. There was an '83 model for sale in the Columbus Ohio area two years ago. I'm still kicking myself in the ass over that bike as it was only three grand and an original unmolested bike in pristine condition. Suzuki for '83 added a blue racing stripe down the tank, but still sported that hair raising body work.
While I keep my eye out for an nice example to pop up in my gun sites, the only ones of late have carried a hefty tariff. last fall a fellow in the Chicago area was asking eight grand for his SV model. I bit steep by my standards, the ad has been taken down so it may have been worth that sum to somebody or simply had no takers.

I just recived the latest issue of Practical Sports bikes and found they had the Katana as the bike of choice for their 5 best section. Every month, they do a profile on five classic sports bikes that the lucky owners have modified to suite their individual taste. The number one choice among the editors topped my own personal list. It is owned by a gent named of Steve Adams. He bought it as a basket case and gave it what I like to call the "resto-mod" treatment. He has sold off the bits he didn't want and went about adding a raft of modern hardware in it's stead. He was going to use a 1200cc mill from a bandit, but used a 1000cc unit punched out to 1170cc. Topped it off with standard valves, GSX1100EFE cams and had the heads flowed. Chose a set of 37mm keihin smooth bores to do the breathing. A generous friend dropped a set of Dymag wheels in his lap. So to hold them to the bike he fitted a 1200 bandit swingarm suspended by a set of Ohlins piggy back shocks. Went with GSX-R750 K4 forks fitted into a Fireblade yoke. Bringing the party to a stop is a set of 320mm front discs sourced from a 1200 Bandit, squeezed by a set of 4 piston radial calipers yanked off a '04 R1. I sniped these photos from
Mixed all together makes my breathing shallow, beads of perspiration form on my fore head and I have to take a seat because I'm light headed. If I got within ten feet of this bike I would probably need CPR or have my heart restarted with a defibrillator. I am a true fan of attention to detail and the less is more philosophy. Mr. Adams more than achieved this with his master piece of a Katana, well done sir.
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